The SmarK Rant for WWF Smackdown – 02.10.00
Might as well carry on for a bit in this era because the Dallas 10 man RAW was really fun to relive.
Taped from Austin, TX. Could this mean the return of Stone Cold? No, of course not, he was recovering from major neck surgery. Don’t be stupid.
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler
European title: Val Venis v. Kurt Angle
Angle admits that yes, he suplexed an 82 year old pregnant woman, but he’s still a role model because he thought it was Mark Henry. Seems plausible. Also, winning the European title will be educational for the crowd because not many people in Texas actually know where Europe is on the map. Angle is just getting astonishingly great already. Angle attacks before Val can even do his spiel.
BREAKING NEWS: Mae Young is fine after the vicious attack from Kurt Angle. Well it wasn’t really that VICIOUS then, technically.
They brawl to the floor and Val rams Kurt into the table, but Angle necks him on the way into the ring and drops him on the top rope to take over. Neckbreaker gets two. Angle stops to tell the crowd to shut up and Val takes him down with an elbow for two and follows with a corner clothesline and seaman’s suplex for two. Val goes up for the Money Shot, but Angle crotches him and the ANGLE SLAM wins the title at 3:10. And so the mega-push begins. Nothing to the match, unfortunately. *1/2
Meanwhile, DX and the Radicalz are unimpressed with Angle. Well, except for Steph. But she has a plan to take out the “big red retard” and HHH does the clipboard rundown of the matches against the babyfaces from the 10-man. I love clipboard shows! He gives X-Pac a singles match against Kane. X-Pac: “What? COME ON!” But no, HHH was just ribbing him and it’s a handicap match instead.
Meanwhile, Vince is going to start some kind of football league.
Grandmaster Sexay v. Perry Saturn
The show is sponsored by Phonefree.com, a crazy site that allows you make long distance calls…over the INTERNET? What sorcery is this? They must need at least a dozen stout men to lay the copper wire across the transatlantic crossing! Saturn slugs away to start, but Sexay comes back with a missile dropkick and enzuigiri. Saturn bails to the apron and Sexay flips into a powerbomb to the floor. Back in, Saturn trips him onto the bottom rope to take over and follows with a teardrop suplex, and then goes after the arm by yanking it around the ring. That looks pretty nasty. He goes to an armbar and Sexay makes the ropes. Saturn with a northern lights suplex for two and gets a top wristlock, then takes him down again with an armbar and goes to a Fujiwara armbar. Saturn goes up and drops the flying elbow for two, but Sexay makes the comeback and suplexes him on the top rope. The shirt and doo rag are OFF so now he really means business. However, he still stops to dance, and hits a powerslam for two. Crossbody takes out the ref, however, and Sexay goes up with the flying legdrop, which gets two after the ref revives. He stops to yell at the ref, so Saturn takes him down in the RINGS OF SATURN to finish at 7:15, despite Sexay being in the ropes. So, uh, scary bald guy with tribal tattoos who does suplexes and submission moves? I feel like someone was just replaced with one match. Also, they worked their ASSES off here and this was a hell of a TV match. Saturn was spitting some hot fire here that he almost never had in WCW. ***1/2
Edge & Christian v. The Dudley Boyz
Everyone brawls to start and E&C clean house with dropkicks. Christian with a legsweep on D-Von for two and he slugs away in the corner, but he stops to yell at Bubba and D-Von takes him down with a neckbreaker.
BREAKING NEWS: Terri may never return to the WWF after getting powerbombed through a table. We should be so lucky.
Bubba comes in with a backdrop on Christian where he comes down with icicles on, as JR would say. The move that would become the Wazzup gets two. Christian with a sunset flip on D-Von for two, but Bubba grabs a chair to distract the ref, which doesn’t actually go anywhere. So Bubba comes in and drops elbows on Christian for two. Christian fights back with a tornado DDT and makes a hot tag that has the girls SHRIEKING. Bubba tries a samoan drop and hurts his knee, resulting in him leaving the ring while Christian gets a missile dropkick on D-Von for the pin at 5:13. **1/4 And then Bubba lays on the floor yelling in pain while they call for the EMTs. OH HO! That’s pretty clever. And indeed, BB is one of the attending medical people, at which point Bubba pops up like a serial killer and they toss her into the ring and finally put her through a table to pay that off. Ironically, she goes out on the very stretcher she brought for Bubba. I believe that was the end of BB, in fact.
That whole thing was really clever and well thought out. Kudos to them.
Scotty 2 Hotty v. Dean Malenko
They fight to the floor and Scotty runs him into the stairs as Eddie wanders out with his arm in a sling, which allows Dean to beat Scotty down and take over. Suplex gets two. Scotty misses a dropkick and Dean goes to work on the knee in the corner and hits a kneecrusher. Eddie draws mammoth heel heat literally by just standing there. Once again, how was WCW so stupid to let these four go? WCW was gutted and WWF suddenly has the best midcard in the business. Scotty comes back with a backdrop to set up the Worm, and it’s weird because there’s no hard camera angle for it. Also, we’re still not to the point where the crowd chants along with it. Scotty goes up to finish, but Eddie shoves him down behind the ref’s back, and the Texas Cloverleaf finishes at 4:44. They’d have a real ripper at Backlash later in the year, but this was just a match. *3/4
Meanwhile, Tazz smashes stuff in a junkyard, but the mood has already changed and Saturn took his place.
The New Age Outlaws v. The Rock &
Sock Flaming Barbed Wire Baseball Bat Connection
Lawler notes that he speaks kiz-arny and can translate Road Dogg’s intro for Michael later if need be. Cactus Jack also gets in a promo for No Way Out on the way to the ring, really hitting the hard sell even with two weeks left. Rock meanwhile just blows the roof off the city and everyone slugs it out to start as the babyfaces clear the ring and the crowd is going nuts. Jack beats Road Dogg down in the corner and they double-team Gunn in the corner. Rock puts him down with an elbow as Gunn flies all over the ring for him, but he comes back with a bulldog and Road Dogg gets some boots before Rock hits a samoan drop. Gunn gets a knee from the apron, so Rock stops to punch him and Gunn FLIES off the apron on the sell. But Dogg hits Rock from behind and beats on him to take over. Rock comes back with the DDT for two, and Gunn dives in and lands on Dogg by mistake, which sets up Rock Bottom for two. Gunn takes out the ref to save and Jack goes after him, so Billy grabs a tag belt and knocks Rock out for two. That’s their finishing move! Gunn continues beating on Rock, but he fights off Billy Bitchcakes and it’s HOT TAG Cactus. He bites on Dogg’s forehead and brawls to the floor with the Outlaws, then runs Dogg into the stairs and retrieves a lead pipe for a knockout shot, and yeah, that’s enough to finish, but he picks up Dogg at two. Piledriver finishes definitively at 6:30 while Gunn desperately crawls in and Rock holds him back. That’s a pretty dark finish and that’s what you call “sending a message”, I’m assuming. The crowd was, and I know this is shocking, completely molten for this whole thing. ***1/4
Gangrel & Luna v. Prince Albert & Jacqueline
The vampires double-team Albert while Cole runs down some AEW-like sellout numbers for upcoming TV tapings. Jackie comes in and Luna DDTs her for the pin at 0:52. So this was a thing that existed. DUD
Chris Benoit v. Rikishi
Rikishi gets a samoan drop to put Benoit on the floor and whips him into the stairs. Back in, Benoit throws the chops and elbows him down for two as Cole laments the fact that Benoit got his spot by stabbing Cactus Jack in the back. Well, it could have been worse, I suppose. Moving on. Rikishi splashes him in the corner and sets up for the piledriver, but Benoit reverses him into the crossface and Rikishi makes the ropes. Benoit follows with a northern lights suplex for two and a sleeper, but Rikishi reverses, so Benoit drops him with a suplex. Diving headbutt misses and Rikishi gets the superkick and belly to belly, but Rikishi is completely blown up and the Radicalz thankfully run in for the DQ at 4:10 to end the match before he collapses. And of course Too Cool clears the ring and we get the dancing. **
WRESTLEMANIA 2000: 8 weeks away! How did they manage to fuck THAT one up so badly?
The Hardy Boyz v. Al Snow & Steve Blackman
Snow is still using his evil music but of course they’re doing the wacky Head Cheese thing as comic relief. The Hardyz double-team Snow and Matt gets an elbow for two. Whisper in the Wind on Snow and they double-team Blackman as well, but Head Cheese comes back with a double gutbuster on Jeff and Snow chokes Matt down. They send Matt into the stairs and that gets two. Blackman goes up while the announcers discuss rejected names for the team like “Black Head” and “Snow Bunnies” and Jeff gets the hot tag. Sort of hot. Snow gets tossed and Jeff wipes him out with a dive, but those damn Dudleyz run in and the ref somehow misses Bubba hitting Jeff with a chair. Head Cheese finishes with the CHEESE GRATER (backbreaker-legdrop combo) at 5:03. OK, I made up that finishing move name. This one somehow managed to kill the insanely hot crowd. *1/2
The Hollies v. Chris Jericho
So we establish in a pre-match promo that Jericho has offered a handicap match with one hand tied behind his back. In a no-DQ match. So they double on Jericho as you’d expect, at which point the APA runs in and gets their revenge from RAW, destroying both guys. And Jericho pins Crash at 1:00. Just an angle.
BREAKING NEWS: Jeff Hardy needs stitches and Matt has suffered a shoulder injury. We need breaking news for when they DON’T hurt themselves in a match at this point.
Kane v. HHH & X-Pac
Kane immediately chases X-Pac into the crowd , which allows HHH to hit a clothesline off the apron. D-X double-teams Kane on the floor and beats him down. HHH with a facecrusher in the ring and X-Pac gets the spinkick and slugs away. Kane tries to choke out X-Pac and HHH goes low to break, allowing X-Pac to hit the lightning legdrop for two. Kane fights back on HHH, but walks into a DDT that gets two. HHH slugs away in the corner and Kane makes his own comeback and no-sells it, then cleans house. Flying clothesline on HHH and chokeslam for X-Pac, but HHH grabs a chair for the DQ at 5:08. ** Kane threatens a chokeslam on Tori and the crowd goes nuts for it, but he just shoves her down instead and then opts for a tombstone. Well I’d say he got his revenge there.
I dunno, that ending came off a tad icky to me, but I’ve been making the mistake of following discussions about Twitch’s Gilead-like “code of conduct” and the disgusting neckbeard incel trolls who actually have sites where they police women’s choice of dress and mass-report those who dare to show their underwear while reaching over to pick up a pen or something. And Kane is kind of the ultimate representation of that kind of sexually repressed shitbag who thinks beating on women because they dared to date someone else is a good way to deal with things. So it probably just came at an inopportune time for me.
Really hot show for the first half, but everything after Outlaws v. Jack & Rock was just kind of there. Still, definitely worth watching.